The Sint-Barbarastraat in Kumtich, near Tienen, has had quite some changes when it comes to football history. But now the end seems near. There's no more football joy. Yet, there still is joy for kids right now.
This stadium has been around for 84 years already, albeit in different forms. The teams playing there have changed quite a bit throughout the years. Everything started more or less in 1937 when Union Sint-Gillis Kumtich was created. A year later, they joined the Belgian FA and the real football pleasure could begin. It wasn't until the end of the 60s that they had their first successes by promoting to the top regional league.
It went all downhill afterwards, and they had to wait until the end of the 90s to be back in that top regional league. But again, it didn't last for long. And this time there wouldn't be a third success. Because in 2003, a huge series of changes for the club and the stadium would start. That's when KUSG Kumtich merged with Football Club Tienen to become Koninklijke Unie Sint Gillis Football Club Tienen. FC Tienen was only created in 1995 and didn't have any real achievements in those few years.
That merger didn't give the desired results for KUSG FC Tienen. Two years later, a new merger would happen. This time with VW Oorbeek United, which was already a merger on itself of Voorwaarts Oorbeek (a continuation of the much older Sportkring Oorbeek) and Football Club Neerwinden. Those two became one in 2004 as Voor Waarts Oorbeek United. The official sources within the Belgian FA are a bit vague though. Officially KUSG FC Tienen changed its name in 2005 into KVV Oorbeek-Kumtich and VW Oorbeek United supposedly merged with Voetbalclub B. Tienen (founded as Voetbalclub Bost - a continuation of the older FC Bost) to become Tienen United.
Whatever happened, as of 2005 the B team of KVV Oorbeek-Kumtich played in this charming little stadium. But again it wouldn't last long. A new merger happened in 2008 when KVV Oorbeek-Kumtich was completely absorbed by KVK Tienen. For five years the football pitch in the Sint-Barbarastraat remained abandoned, until Koninklijke Sparta Tienen changed its name into K Sparta Kumtich-Tienen in 2013 and moved to Kumtich. They had been active since 1948 and had quite some history as well. Names were Klub 73 Tienen in 1973; Racing Club Tienen in 1989 (as an unofficial continuation of the original Racing Club Tienen which merged with Voorwaarts Tienen in 1981 to become the now known KVK Tienen) and that same year back to Klub 73 Tienen because the Belgian FA ruled names could not be used again after a merger for ten years straight.
In 1991, the name became Racing Club Tienen again and in 2005 it was changed into Koninklijke Sparta Tienen. In 2016 the club moved back to their original stadium, only to move to Vissenaken in 2017 and to be completely absorbed by Crossing Vissenaken in 2018. But this time the Sint-Barbarastraat stadium wasn't left empty. Eva's Kumtich had already moved there before. The ladies team was founded in 1969 as Crossing Kumtich, changed its name into Jepita Stars Kumtich Damesvoetbal in 1971 and joined the Belgian FA in 1974.
In 1975, Eva's Kumtich promoted to the first division of women's football. Up until 2005 they always played that top league but without any trophy. Even though they came close multiple times. In 2005 Eva's Kumtich decided to join KVK Tienen and give up their matricule number. Trophies followed, such as a double in 2008. One year later they left KVK Tienen to walk their own way again as Dames Voetbal Club Eva's Tienen. A few more trophies followed but they also went a little up and down the divisions throughout the last couple of years. In 2018 Dames Voetbal Club Eva's Tienen left the Sint-Barbarastraat for Tienen for good. Since 2021 they're part of KVK Tienen again.
Right now the Sint-Barbarastraat stadium is set to disappear. It did receive a new destination in 2021: a neighbourhood area with playgrounds. In the long run this will become a real estate area, so sooner or later this piece of beautiful football history will disappear. Let's hope the mini recreational area is such a huge success it won't disappear after all.
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